Publishing House "Sovetskii Pisatel'"

Address: 10 Bolshoi Gnezdnikovskii Lane, Moscow

The House of Nirnzeye,1980s. Photo: PastVu

The House of Nirnzeye, 1980s. Photo: PastVu

From 1934 to 1970, the publishing house "Sovetskii Pisatel'" ("Soviet Writer") was located on the first floor of the Nirnzeye house. It was Moscow’s first skyscraper and the highest building in the city until the 1930s. 

This publishing house printed all five of Shalamov’s collections of poems — "Ognivo" ("Fire striker," 1961), "Shelest listyev" ("Whisper of the Leaves", 1964), "Doroga i sudba" ("Road and Destiny," 1967), "Moskovskie oblaka" ("Moscow’s Clouds," 1972), and "Tochka kipeniia" ("Boiling Point," 1977). Shalamov considered "Moskovskie oblaka" the book that was the least distorted by censorship. Above all, Shalamov became known for themes connected to Kolyma and life in the camps.

Shalamov presented Kolymskiye rasskazy (Kolyma Tales) for publication twice, but was rejected both times. In 1956–1958 and from the mid-1960s until the beginning of the 1970s, Shalamov actively translated poems, which was primarily a source of income.

Valery Esipov, Sergey Solovev